COVID19

Reeves Vetoes MAEP, Protects Private School Vouchers

Late last night, Gov. Tate Reeves vetoed almost all funding for public education in the K-12 appropriation bill, leaving school districts with no budget – and no way to pay teachers – at the worst possible time: with the fast approaching start of a school year brimming with unprecedented challenges.  Among the sections the governor struck …

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Legislature Wraps Up Budget Bills, Goes Home for Now

The Legislature wrapped up its work on general and appropriations bills and has gone home for the time being. They will return as necessary to handle issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The state budget presented more than the typical challenges as lawmakers grappled with less revenue and greater needs – both a result of …

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Revised Appropriations Conference Report Passed

UPDATE: A revised conference report for pre-k through grade 12 appropriations for FY2021 passed both chambers this afternoon. Only one change was made – adding to MDE general education funding a $4.7-million reappropriation that had been left out of the original conference report. Facing a difficult budget year, lawmakers spared public schools to the extent possible. …

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K-12 Funding Conference Report Passed, Recommitted

The conference report for pre-k through grade 12 appropriations for FY2021 passed both chambers today but was recommitted later in the day for further work by the conference committee. While most state agencies saw budget cuts that averaged around 5%, lawmakers spared public schools to the extent possible. The conference report, as it passed earlier today, …

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Important Distance Learning Bills

Yesterday, the Senate took up and passed SB 3044, the Equity in Distance Learning Act, which creates a grant program to assist school districts in purchasing computer devices and covering other COVID-19-related expenses. The current Senate plan would allocate $150-million in CARES Act funding for this purpose. Another bill, SB 3046, the COVID-19 Connectivity Act, was assigned …

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Latest News from the Capitol

Yesterday, the House voted to table the motion to reconsider on SB 2594, the ESA voucher bill, so it is on its way to the governor with no amendments that expand the program or weaken accountability – a victory for children and for taxpayers! And there is more good news…the Joint Legislative Budget Committee learned from state …

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Update on Education Bills

The House and Senate have made significant progress on education bills. This morning, the House passed the ESA Voucher bill, SB 2594, with no amendments that expand the program or weaken accountability. Thank you for your work on that! The bill has been held on a motion to reconsider, which means that it must be dealt …

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Need Calls on Voucher Bill

Today was the deadline for committees to act on bills that originated in the opposite chamber. The teacher pay raise (SB 2001) and community schools (HB 1139) fell victim to the economic downturn. The Early Learning Collaboratives bill (SB 2286) has had a reverse repealer added, ensuring that legislators will give it another look as …

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House & Senate Committees Take Up Education Bills

Legislative committees met this week to begin debating bills that passed the opposite chamber prior to the pause in the session necessitated by the pandemic.  HB 1165, which passed the House as a mandate that computer science be taught, passed the Senate Education Committee as a vehicle to use for a distance learning initiative. Chairman …

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